ILC 2019

Social protection in focus at the International Labour Conference

In his speech at the 108th International Labour Conference (ILC), the Secretary General of the International Social Security Association (ISSA) emphasized the Association’s strong partnership with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and their joint efforts to achieve social protection for all.

The annual International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland gathers national delegations representing governments, employers and workers as well as civil society to debate key issues linked to global labour standards, decent work and social developments. This year, the ILC celebrates the ILO Centenary, and also looks forward with the ground-breaking work of the Global Commission on the Future of Work and its recently published report Work for a brighter future.

At the ILC, a number of world leaders have emphasized the need to step up efforts to reach the global objective of universal social protection by 2030 – a core objective of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In 2019, only around half of the world’s population is covered by some form of social protection.

The ISSA Secretary General, Marcelo Caetano, underlined this important challenge in his address to the ILC. “Together, we can build social protection systems for all that not only provide coverage in times of need but also focus on investing in people’s capabilities, lifelong learning and social inclusion”, he said.

Earlier this year, the ISSA joined the Global Partnership for Universal Social Protection. With the accelerating development of new and non-standard forms of work, it is of paramount importance to seek innovative solutions to ensure the coverage of such workers. The ISSA’s regional reports on 10 Global Challenges for Social Security demonstrate how social security institutions are developing innovative solutions to improve coverage and meet other challenges.

During the two weeks of the ILC, the ISSA and its Secretary General will host a large number of meetings with member institutions and dignitaries from around the world. The joint ISSA-ILO launch of a new cooperation framework and platform on social security for the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), is one highlight. The ISSA’s presence at the ILC is also ensured with a permanent stand and a contribution to the ILO’s digital exhibition on social security towards 2030.

ISSA Secretary General Marcelo Caetano addresses the ILC